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West Slope Diary
6 - 10 October 2001
4. The old Nono road
spent a few hours one morning walking up from the village along
the old road to Nono. The old Nono-Mindo road has the reputation
of being a classic birding route, but it can only be really be covered
in a vehicle. However, strolling along this track can produce some
interesting birds, and we had our first view of Metallic-green
Tanager along here. We also added two new hummers to our list
- Wedge-billed Hummingbird (looked very dark green with a
thin white collar) and White-bellied Woodstar. Blue-grey
Tanager was another new bird for the trip list.
also birded this after leaving the Lodge, with our
guide who was to take us into the Cotapaxi area for a couple of
days. The plan was to drive all the way along the old road to Quito.
Unfortunately, a broken-down excavator blocked the road near the
summit and, having taken 5 hours getting there, we had to back-track
to Tandayapa, taking only 1½ hours to return.
didn't find the birding all that intense, and we added few new species
to our list, except a fast-flying White-tipped Swift, Olive Finch,
Bananaquit (the only sighting of the holiday - very different
from Trinidad & Tobago!), Red-headed Barbet, feeding
on Secropia, and some spectacular views of three Turquoise Jays.
Oh and, as we set off we heard both Wattled Guan and White-throated
Quail-dove not far from Tandayapa Village. But the scenery was
splendid and the drive was leisurely until we had to retreat!
new pipeline is, unfortunately being laid across this area, and
it crosses the old road on the Tandayapa side of the summit. It
remains to be seen how much disturbance this contraversial pipeline
will produce, but it is certain that it will add to the traffic
on the road.